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Old 03-05-2012, 09:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My baby is sick.

Greeting all --

My 7 week old baby is sick. Here's a play by play ---

Saturday day -- occasional sniffling, otherwise normal
Saturday night -- generally ok, maybe a little bit less food eaten, little bit less poop on wheel

Sunday day -- sleeping all day with occasional coughing. In the evening the sneezing got a little more common. Got on phone with breeder, got a few suggestions. Did a steam treatment (steamed up the bathroom with the shower, sat there with him for 15 min), and fed him some mealies (live) to increase moisture.
Sunday night -- didn't wheel at all. Didn't weigh the food, but visually couldn't tell that he ate (much).

Today (monday) -- slept all day (obviously). Took him to the vet. Obviously upper respiratory problem. Isn't too bad yet (mucus is clear), and due to age not a good idea to start on the drugs. It's on record, and I'll be provided drugs without having to pay for another visit.

Gameplan --
-- turn up CHEs a notch to bring up the cage temperature
-- install humidifier near the cage.
-- reinstall water bottle (had him on bowl only for the last week) to encourage drinking.
-- mealies, lots and lots of mealies. (moisture in food)
-- increase the fleece rotation schedule (reduce fumes from urine)

hoping for an improvement by weekend.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby is sick.

It looks to me like you have everything under control. Make sure the humidifier that you get is a warm mist humidifier, as the cold ones are prone to spreading bacteria. Also, the water bottle thing seems a littler counter intuitive to me - usually having water in a bowl encourages more drinking, while the bottle can actually prevent your hedgie from getting the water that he needs. Having both available might not be a bad idea, though, especially if he was used to a bottle previously.
Hopefully someone with a little more experience can chip in, too.
Prayers out to your little one, and I hope he feels better soon! Please keep us updated (:
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby is sick.

UPDATE.

Short Version: I think I found the culprit, he developed a taste for Yesterday's News.

Long Version:
Spent the last 2 hours with him. His activity level was really varied from just sleeping to running around all over the place. In all this time, I managed to feed him a few kibbles, but not too much. He only produced too poops and no pee during the period. Also I believe the first poop to come out had a little blood on it.

After I put him back in the cage, I watched him for a couple of minutes (until he went into his house). First thing he did was scratch behind the ear, and then a mad dash to the litter box (that I have no evidence he uses for the correct purposes). I use yesterday's news. He then face planted into it, started rolling around a little bit, then got back up on all fours and it appeared as he started chewing. Granted my view wasn't the greatest (box is in far corner of cage, also very low light), but it wouldn't be a crazy assumption that he was eating yesterdays news.

I took away the litter box. This would certainly explain why his food dish wasn't touched last night, the low energy (zero nutritional value of paper), and the bloody poop and general lack of poop (constipation?).
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby is sick.

I'm no vet...but from what I understood about URIs is that they do not simply go away- if anything it will just get worse and exacerbate the condition. If your hedgie is still exhibiting symptoms, I would request from your vet that you get antibiotics. My vet here in Michigan is experienced with hedgies and she had no problem putting my little Brillo on meds when he was just 8 weeks old.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby is sick.

If your hedgie has any kind of URI it needs to be on antibiotics now, it can very quickly change to pnemonia which is alot harder to treat and will require stronger antibiotics. Its safe to give antibiotics to young hedgies. Eating the yesterday's news wouldn't have anything to do with the mucous.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My baby is sick.

I want to mention that I have been told that a slight occasional runny nose is normal. Diggory had that and it was clear and watery and I was freaking out thinking it was a URI but then it cleared up. I was told it could have been from the air being very dry from my space heater. But if your hedgie is sneezing frequently(diggory wasn't) then I would do antibiotics just in case. I know that can be difficult to convince a vet of, mine wouldn't give him any because he didn't want him to become immune to them...
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